Inside a celebrity favourite, Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

Inside a celebrity favourite, Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes
Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

The French Rivera oozes glamour and elegance, and this fascination only magnifies in Cannes when May comes around each year as the red carpet is rolled out for the Hollywood stars at The Cannes Film Festival.

Just down the road from the iconic Le Palais des Festivals where the festival happens is the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes, one of the luxurious locations where the film stars traditionally stay nearby.

Built nearly a century ago in 1926 by architect Théo Petit, the historic 5-star hotel with over 305 rooms is a well-established partner of The Cannes Film Festival and is fully booked for the occasion.

But before this year’s main event kicked off from 14th-25th May, indy100 got to see the hotel in all its glory and opulence that celebrities can expect during their visit.


Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

The warm 20-degree sunshine was a welcome sight when I landed at Nice Airport after leaving behind the typically cold and rainy British weather that is to be expected in March.

From there, it was a swift 30-minute taxi to Cannes as the city is located in between Nice and Saint Tropez – all three of which make up the picturesque Mediterranean coastline, along with Monaco, Menton, Antibes, and Villefranche-sur-Mer, just to name a few.

Upon arrival, it was hard to miss the hotel sign in brilliant white against the clear blue sky and row of green palm trees. Located on the Boulevard de la Croisette, a two-kilometre-long promenade opposite the golden beach, Le Majestic is just a stone’s throw away from an array of designer stores such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Armani, and more.

Sinead Butler

Known as the hotel for the stars, I was soon confronted with the reason why when I first entered the lobby and concierge area. My eyes were immediately drawn to the sparkling starry light installation that took centre stage inside the warmly welcoming art deco interiors, as well as the luxury designer piece encased and on display.

The room

Sinead Butler

As I made my way up to my room, the corridors once again reminded me of the celebrity allure the place emits, as there was an array of framed photos of various A-listers from previous Cannes Film Festivals on every wall.

From the third floor, the windows in my room looked out onto the hotel’s pool where guests can chill out and enjoy a drink at the poolside bar. Behind this, the palm trees added to the greenery with partial views of the sea peeking through – it was the perfect view to watch the stunning orange sunrise at 6.30 am the following day.

Bathroom-wise, it was the best of both worlds with a stand-alone shower and a sunken bathtub while the toilet was in a separate closet.

Space was plentiful with a desk and chair, along with a small table and chairs at the foot of the bed and those who are heavy packers (like me) would appreciate the extensive wardrobe space too.

As far as the bed goes, I immediately fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow (there is actually a “pillow menu” guests can choose from to pick one that best suits them).

Tour of the apartments

As well as hotel rooms, Le Majestic also has 23 individually designed luxury suites for those looking for more space (the most expensive setting you back €40,000 per night) – as you can imagine, they’re ideal for celebrities who have quite an entourage with them.

First up was the Suite Majestic, which is described as the “most sumptuous Suite in Europe” and it certainly lived up to the hype as the 4840 sq ft living space contains a white oak and mahogany dining room, a large dressing room, a home cinema and an exercise room.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

But that’s not all, the outdoor terrace is 1076 sq ft and includes a swimming pool that looks out onto unparalleled views of the sea, the famous steps of the Cannes Film Festival and the Lérins Islands.

If you’re looking for a touch of the Parisian chic, look no further than the Suite Christian Dior.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

The designer’s couture house is said to be the inspiration behind the décor, and the stand-out feature in the 4520 sq ft apartment is Louis XVI dining room with the grey and silver medallion chairs. While the lounge has pops of red in the cushion to contrast the black walls and grey couch, and a 161 sq ft outdoor area with sea views – and not forgetting the famous Dior logo on the front door.

For the cinephiles, Suite Melodie is named after the 1963 French film, Mélodie En Sous Sol (Any Number Can Win) starring Jean Gabin and Alain Delon whose portraits from the film decorate the walls – with some scenes of the movie even being filmed at Le Majestic.

Sinead Butler and Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

The blue hues of the interior evoke a dreamy ambience to the place spanning 1615 sq ft, with the focal point being the half-moon window looking out onto the breath-taking blue of the Mediterranean Sea.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

The final stop was the Suite Riviera, which offers panoramic views and 247 sq ft outdoor area as “an ode to the sea” where the nautical vision is clear to see in the 1940 sq ft living space with the marine decorations and the use of wood and metal along with the navy, white, beige and brass colour scheme and with the coastal view it makes you feel like you’re very much at sea.

Food & drink

Lunch at Mademoiselle Gray

Sinead Butler

After checking in, I headed to Mademoiselle Gray for lunch, which has a private beach - a tranquil backdrop for those who particularly love alfresco dining in the fresh sea breeze. A great way to explore the menu is by picking different sharing plates for the table as a starter (up to 8).

For the main course, I enjoyed the cod while the stand-out favourite was the truffle mashed potato. Keen to try the different dessert options, I went with the Café Gourmand (a green tea with three mini desserts) which included a crème brulee, a sweet caramel and pistachio pudding, and a pistachio cupcake which fulfilled my sweet tooth.

Cocktail tour

Sinead Butler

At Le Majestic, cocktail-making is both an art and a science especially since bar manager and "king of the cocktails" Emanuele Balestra has elevated the drinks by creating a range of accompanying perfumes to elevate the sensory experience.

To understand the craft that goes into this process, I was given a tour of the hotel’s aromatic gardens on the roof with bar manager, Guillermo Pittaluga. He passionately explained the importance of growing the herbs and flowers themselves - there are even bee hives to make fresh honey, all to provide the freshest ingredients for the drinks.

After growing the necessary plants, they're taken to be distilled and I got the chance to see the machinery used for this process.

The range of aromatics includes everything from sweet floral scents to citrus fruits - there was an opportunity to understand how strong the distilled liquid is as I was given a few tiny drops on my hand to try and the flavour profiles certainly packed a punch. For some of the cocktails, the hotel even has a uniquely designed glass that has a perfect indent for your nose to sit so your sense of smell is fully immersed.

It was time to try a perfumed cocktail for myself at the Fouquet's Bar which was beautifully lit up in a warm gold (and wouldn't be out of place in a James Bond film). I went for the "Lavendou" which contained 30&40 Double jus, Gin Monkey 47, homemade mandarin and lavender bitter ginger ale, which was then sprayed by the barman with a mandarin and lavender fragrance - which was delightful and the perfume definitely enhanced the drink.

Dinner at Le Fouquet’s

Sinead Butler

As nighttime came, I was looking forward to dining at Le Fouquet’s which is Cannes's version of the historic Parisian brasserie-style restaurant – and with the dim lighting and hints of red in the décor, the setting certainly created a timeless feeling.

The menu was designed by 3 Michelin-star Chef Pierre Gagnaire who creatively uses locally sourced produce.

I opted for the sea bass poached in olive oil, salsa cruda and new potatoes that were rich in flavour (you know it is good when you are the first at the table to clear your plate).

Breakfast room service

Sinead Butler

After catching the early sunrise from my bedroom balcony, I decided to relax by staying in my room for breakfast.

I chose my meal the night before and left the form hanging on my door which had the time I wanted to eat. There was a wide range to pick from whether you're looking but I decided to go with a simple basket of different pastries and breads along with butter and a few different jams to try.

The staff member who rolled the trolley in ensured it pointed in the direction of the balcony so I could appreciate the view.

Food market and cooking masterclass with pastry chef

Sinead Butlr

After breakfast, a group of us visited Forville Market with the hotel’s pastry chef Nicolas Maugard which was bustling on a sunny Saturday morning with an impressive array of foods – and we even got to taste some samples of deep-fried courgette flowers.

Once Chef Maugard had all the ingredients he needed, it was time to put our personalised aprons on as some of us chipped in to help make the dessert (under the watchful guidance of Chef Nicolas of course), from piping the mixture that would turn into crispy wafer in the oven, precisely slicing lemons to make a lemon curd, then adding the rest of the components (the strawberries and cream).

It was a great way to see how pastries and desserts are freshly made for guests - up to 2,000 during events held at the hotel.

Spa treatment

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

To unwind and relax, Spa Diane Barrière offers a wide range of facilities to help you feel calm and restored including a sauna, hammam (Turkish bath), salt wall, plus a fitness studio.

If you're looking to pamper yourself, a licensed manicurist and hairstylist is also available.

After getting an hour-long back massage, I felt completely chilled out and restored and the treatment felt personalised - right down picking to the specific message oil for the masseuse to use.

Final verdict

It's easy to see why the hotel is so busy during May for the Cannes Film Festival as well as the summer months, I would recommend March as a good time to visit as beaches are not packed with tourists with it being the off-season but the weather is just as lovely.

All in all, if you’re looking to experience the A-list treatment then a visit to Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes should definitely be on your travel bucket list – even if it’s just for one night.

For more information, visit the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic website.

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